Question is grammatically similar to this question but different in content.

Apparently, Equanimity is not indifference but a feeling in itself. According to the Note at the bottom of Potaliya Sutta.;

MN 137 (passage § 179 in The Wings to Awakening) identifies "equanimity based on multiplicity" as equanimity with regard to forms, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile sensations. It identifies "equanimity based on singleness" as the four formless attainments. In the context of this sutta, however, the Commentary defines equanimity based on singleness as the fourth jhana, and this interpretation seems correct. Toward the end of this passage, the equanimity based on singleness functions as the basis for the three knowledges, a function that is normally filled by the fourth jhana.

As I understand, there is Equanimity with regards to sense bases and one generated through Jhnana.

My question is, How to Cultivate this Equanimity wrt multiplicity? Will the one wrt Jhnana get cultivated by itself?

The Indriya-Bhavana sutta mentions it as peaceful and exquisite, does developing that feeling in face of changing circumstances account to equanimity?

1 Answer 1


That's quite the complicated sutta!

MN137 has a very detailed and distinct progression. Thirty-six categories, with eighteen for non-renunciates folks and eighteen for renunciates. For both non-renunciates and renunciates, the path to equanimity leads from sadness through happiness to equanimity.

Let's take an example with non-renunciate sights. One who experiences sadness in hunger might find happiness upon seeing a chocolate bar. They buy, eat it and the hunger is gone. The absence of hunger is seen as "happiness". Then the candy companies realize that this is a good business and offer many many kinds of chocolate bar (technically, this is called "over-choice"). After eating many kinds of chocolate bars, one experiences a "meh-equanimity" to any particular brand of chocolate bar. This is lay equanimity.

Now let's take the same example for renunciate sights. One who experiences sadness in hunger might find happiness upon the cessation of hunger after mindfully seeing and eating chocolate bar. They are aware of how hunger passes as food is ingested. They are also aware of a certain aftertaste and afterfeeling once the food is consumed. They are mindful of the changes to their body with each bite of every food. Mindful of the effects of sugar and its ill-effects, they become equanimous towards the sight of chocolate bars, accepting them when no other better food is offered. That is the equanimity of the renunciate in diversity.

The formless meditations lead to equanimity based on unity/singleness. Here one is not concerned about chocolate bars, since that is just a form of food. Instead, one establishes equanimity by the relinquishing of defilements by observing the origin, rise and fall of the five grasping aggregates: form, feeling, perception, choices and consciousness.

That is how I read MN137.

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